I'm aware of the benefits of reading to your kids, the more the better, especially in the early years when they're developing their language skills

What I'm curious about, however, is how much is enough? I'm committed to reading to my coming child as much as I can, but I'd like to know what would be considered over-doing it, and when additional reading would provide no more benefit.


While the below answers are great, they don't seem to touch on exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not worried about reading too much to my kid, mainly I'd like to know at what point I've read enough to my kids, when additional reading would be over-kill and provide no more benefit to them.

3 Answers 3


I have not ever heard of any research suggesting there is "too much," however there are some sensible guidelines that could give you a practical upper limit:

  • when your child gets tired, don't force them
  • when they get bored, try different books, but sometimes they will just not want you to read
  • sometimes you'll need to do other things. In the early years they may well want you to keep reading - while cooking, going to the bathroom, gardening...

What you will find is the benefit changes, so while at first you'll be reading to them, you can start to get them to read with you, and then to you, and then to themselves.

With my kids, as I was working 80-100 hour weeks when they were young, I'd read my work presentations and papers to them while writing them. They didn't seem to mind :-)

  • Haha! When they are small enough, they won’t mind and you actually get to read the paper, book, whatever you wouldn’t have time for otherwise :-) (Beat me by about five minutes, btw.)
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 21:21
  • Lolol! That is truly hilarious! But did you do it in a sing-song, lilting fashion? ;) Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:05
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    I certainly read it with ebb and flow, emphasis on particular sections etc. Maybe not sing song :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 18:53

We adults tend to think in good and bad, in benefits and over-doing but when it comes to kids it really reduces to fun and not-fun.

In that perspective, I'd say that it's not "too much" as long as you both (or all involved) have fun! The practical limit boils down to your respective biological limits.

My daughter is now 3 and she enjoys listening to audio books while playing just like someone else would listen to music. It can run for hours. Tongue doesn't matter by the way. Lately she pulled bills out of my wallet and asked me to sing it! If both want to play the game, why not play it?

Read, tell and sing as much as you want or as much as they want. Until one runs out of fun, no sooner, no later.

  • 1
    I really like this answer, thanks.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 1:37

In addition to the other good answers, I would add that toddlers often latch on to a particular book and demand that it be read to them over and over and over again. By the 100th time you will probably be ready to scream. But don't fight this. Instead try introducing some other things as well. E.g. "How about a page of this, and then I'll read The Book".

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